If you work in New Jersey and are pregnant, you likely want to learn about your rights to maternity leave, pregnancy leave, and parental leave. You might be confused about the amount of time that you are able to take off from work in the state. The employment lawyers at Swartz Swidler can help you to understand your rights to leave during and after your pregnancy. Here is some information that might be helpful to you.
Temporary Disability Insurance and pregnant women
If you have pregnancy-related complications or have given birth and are unable to work, you may be able to receive temporary disability to replace a portion of your lost income. In normal pregnancies, the eligibility period starts around four weeks before your delivery date and up to six weeks after you give birth. If you have a C-section, the eligibility period after childbirth is extended to eight weeks. If your doctor certifies that you have complications or are otherwise physically unable to do your job, you may be able to receive TDI benefits for a longer period of time.
Family leave insurance
Most workers in New Jersey are eligible for family leave insurance benefits. FLI offers up to six weeks of paid leave so that you can bond with your new child. The leave is partially paid, meaning that it will not replace your entire salary. It is possible that you might be eligible for both TDI and FLI.
How much do you get paid when you are on maternity leave?
Maternity leave assistance in New Jersey provides you with two-thirds of your average income while you are on leave. The benefits are fully funded by employees through deductions that are taken from your paychecks.
Your FLI or TDI benefits are also based on your average pay each week for the last eight weeks. You are eligible for up to 66% of your income. You can check the New Jersey Department of Labor to see the schedule of the maximum benefits.
Family leave insurance benefits
The following rules apply to FLI benefits:
- You must have earned a minimum of $8,400 in the past year or have worked for a minimum of 20 weeks;
- You cannot receive FLI if your employer gives you paid maternity leave;
- You can receive FLI at the same time as you receive private short-term disability benefits;
- You will not be eligible to receive FLI if you are also receiving another type of government benefit such as workers’ compensation;
- You must take FLI leave in groups of seven consecutive days;
- You must provide your employer with 30 days notice of your FLI leave;
- Your employer may require that you use up to two weeks of your paid time off or sick leave; and
- There is a seven-day waiting period for your FLI benefits to start.
The New Jersey Family Leave Act
The New Jersey Family Leave Act requires employers who fall under the law to give their employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every 24 months. While you are gone from work, your job is protected. The NJFLA covers employers who have 50 or more employees across all of their locations. You are eligible if you have worked at a covered employer for a minimum of 12 months and have worked at least 1,000 hours. Your NJFLA request may be denied if you are one of the employees who are the highest-paid at your company. Like FMLA leave, NJFMLA leave is unpaid.
Contact Swartz Swidler to learn more
If you are pregnant, understanding your rights to different types of leave is important. To learn more about your rights, contact Swartz Swidler today to schedule a consultation.